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We are using AI to developour process control

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Dr Paula Carey, Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, Carbon8 explains the impact of carbon capture technology at Carbon8 on the productivity, efficiency and circular economy of cement plants.

Tell us about your carbon capture technology.
Carbon8’s carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology is known as Accelerated Carbonation (ACT). In the process, carbon dioxide derived directly from flue gas generated by a cement plant is reacted with calcium minerals within the cement by-pass or kiln dust produced by the same plant without the need for purification.

The reaction occurs at atmospheric temperatures and pressures over 20-30 minutes and can be engineered so that a carbon negative lightweight aggregate is produced, through granulation of the fine grained dusts.

The technology is delivered in a containerised plant (known as the CO2ntainer) with a small footprint that is plugged directly into the flue stack of the cement plant without affecting the cement manufacturing process.

What role can your technology play when implemented in a carbon intensive industry like the cement industry?
The amount of carbon dioxide that is captured is limited by the amount of residue available, but the economics of our system means that a profit can be made for every tonne of CO2 captured without the need for subsidies, or large energy penalties or the use of expensive toxic chemicals such as amines. The process results in the sustainable management of an industrial residue that might otherwise be destined for landfill and produces a low carbon product for the construction industry reducing the need for the extraction of natural aggregate.

What is the impact of your technology on the productivity and cost of cement manufacturing?
The installation of our technology has no effect on the productivity of the cement plant, it has a low energy requirement and its installation adds to the bottom line of the cement production.

How does your technology impact the energy efficiency of a cement plant?
Because our technology operates at atmospheric temperatures and pressures, it has a low energy demand and does not have an impact on the efficiency of the cement plant.

How does your tech support the circular economy?
Carbon8’s technology produces a carbon negative, lightweight aggregate from an industrial residue, breaking the route to landfill disposal and producing a sustainable product for the construction industry that replaces the need for the extraction of natural virgin aggregate. On our website – www.carbon8.co.uk – we describe ourselves as a “circular impact company

What are the major challenges in implementation and execution of your technology?
Because the amount of CO2 captured is relatively small compared with large-scale, expensive carbon capture projects, it has been more challenging to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of deploying and operating our technology within the global cement industry. A Vicat cement plant in France has been using our CO2tainer since 2020, after successful trials with CRH in Canada and Hanson (now part of Heidelberg Cement Group) in the UK.

The variability of the waste streams that are available to Carbon8 also raises a challenge; every cement works is slightly different and demands a unique solution in terms of mix design for our process.

What innovations can the world expect from Carbon8 in the near future?
We are using AI to develop our process control to overcome the variability of the residues that are generated by the different hard-to-abate industries, and so facilitate the deployment of ACT solutions into other sectors, like Energy From Waste, biomass and steel.

Concrete

15th Cement EXPO to be held in March 2025 in Hyderabad

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Cement EXPO 2025, which will be held along with the 10th Indian Cement Review Conference and the 8th Indian Cement Review Awards, promises to be bigger, drawing in greater participation, fostering more profound discussions and showcasing the continued evolution of the cement industry.

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After the arousing success of the 14th Cement EXPO, which was held on December 14-15, 2023 at Manekshaw Centre along the 9th Indian Cement Review Conference and the 7th Indian Cement Review Awards, the next edition of Cement EXPO will be hosted in March 2025 in Hyderabad. The 15th Cement EXPO promises to be bigger and even more impactful than 2023 edition with more participating companies and larger exhibition area. The 3-in-1 event is organised by FIRST Construction Council (an infrastructure think tank) and Indian Cement Review (ICR).

The 14th Cement EXPO received big thumps up from the industry with over 1,500 senior managers/decision makers visiting the expo. The EXPO was inaugurated by Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI; and Ali Emir Adiguzel, Founder and Director, World Cement Association, along with Pratap Padode, Founder, FIRST Construction Council (FCC). Top notch companies from the Indian cement industry’s supply chain presented their latest innovations and offerings in the sprawling two-tiered exhibition space.

The 14th Cement EXPO garnered significant support from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government e-Marketplace (GeM), and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India (GoI).

The 7th Indian Cement Review Awards presented awards to 11 companies in different categories recognising their contribution to growth and innovation in the industry. While Parth Jindal (Managing Director of JSW Cement) was conferred with the Indian Cement Review – Person of the Year Award 2023, Vinita Singhania (Vice Chairman and Managing Director at JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd) was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

With a theme centred on ‘Driving Sustainability Through Technology’, the 9th Indian Cement Review Conference hosted thought provoking discussions, panel sessions, and presentations, showcasing the industry’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge solutions.

The success and resonance of the 2023 edition has laid the groundwork for the 15th Cement EXPO 2025, which is bound to be bigger, drawing in greater participation, fostering more profound discussions and showcasing the continued evolution of the cement industry.

The EXPO, along with the 10th Indian Cement Review Conference and the 8th Indian Cement Review Awards, will contribute significantly to the ongoing transformation of the cement industry.

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Concrete

Shree Cement breaks ground at two sites

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Shree Cement has recently commenced the construction of two new 3.5Mt/yr cement plants in Etah and Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, as per news reports. This development is in line with the company’s memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Uttar Pradesh government, signed in February 2023. With the aim of achieving 9Mt/yr in installed capacity by February 2026, the company plans to invest an estimated US$241 million. Currently, Shree Cement operates a 2Mt/yr integrated cement plant in Bulandshahr.

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Concrete

JK Lakshmi Cement records hike in profits

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JK Lakshmi Cement announced a significant increase in standalone net profit, which jumped by 69 per cent to Rs.124.06 Crores in the Oct-Dec 2023 quarter. The company achieved a 7 per cent increase in standalone net sales and reported a clinker capacity utilisation of 105 per cent and cement capacity utilisation of 79 per cent in the same quarter. The company attributed its improved profitability to higher volume, better product and sales mix, and a reduction in fuel costs.
In terms of sustainability initiatives, the company is implementing projects to enhance its TSR and WHR capacity, as well as sourcing solar power to increase the share of renewable energy at its Durg Cement Plant. Additionally, the company’s subsidiary, Udaipur Cement Works Ltd (UCWL), successfully commissioned its second clinker line and is expected to commission its cement grinding capacity expansion soon.
The company is also undertaking expansion projects, including increasing clinker capacity and establishing cement grinding units at various locations, with a proposed investment of Rs.2,500 crores. Funding for this project is proposed to be through term loans from banks and internal accruals. The company also announced an interim dividend of 40 per cent.

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